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Chinese faster, higher, stronger


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Thanks to extensive coverage of the Athens Games, China has gotten Olympic fever.

ATHENS, Greece -- China is on a winning spree in Athens and going head to head with the United States for the top spot of the medals table.

Another gold medal was added Friday when Wang Nan and Zhang Yining converted the second of five match points to defeat the South Korean penhold pair Seok Eun-mi and Lee Eun-sil 11-9 11-7 11-6 11-6 in the women's table tennis doubles.

For 25-year-old Wang, it was her second consecutive Olympic doubles gold.

She partnered Li Ju to victory in Sydney four years ago, while Zhang, 22, the world singles number one, was making her Olympic debut.

Wang also won the women's singles title in Sydney, bringing her career tally to three Olympic gold and cementing her status as one of the best players in China's seemingly endless production-line of elite table tennis players.

Earlier, top-seeded favorites Guo Yue and Niu Jianfeng of China struggled to defeat ninth-seeded Kim Kyung-ah and Kim Bok-rae of South Korea 4-3 in a dramatic bronze medal match.

The nervous Chinese struggled with the defensive style and downspin variation of the Koreans, eventually closing out the seesaw match 11-7 5-11 11-4 11-9 7-11 9-11 11-9.


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